Duke writes 'You have compared Manchester with other cities that have endured prolonged periods of Labour local government and all performing badly. Compare with say Southampton, Reading, Basingstoke, Oxford, Cambridge and these towns and cities have enjoyed prolonged economic growth which eclipses Manchester'.
My point, Duke, is that the three cities listed at the beginning there have had various controlling parties over recent years, and as you say, they have not enjoyed the scale of regeneration which we have seen in Manchester, where Labour has been in continuous control for years. The other towns which you list are relatively small and not in any way comparable, and being in the prosperous south have not suffered anything like the economic and industrial decline of Manchester in the mid-20th century.
As for Leeds, I too know it very well, and it is in a sorry state. Its successive councils have tried hard to put it on the map, but it is just a pale shadow of Manchester: no trams, no proper concert hall, no Premiership football club, and a pathetic little airport. Good university - but then, so is Manchester.